Genetic engineering has numerous potential benefits. However any new scientific discoveries offer the possibility of both beneficial and destructive effects.
Some of the possible dangers due to genetic engineering might be as follows:
* Due to manipulation of genes might, by accident, result in the origin of various new kinds of diseases or organisms containing fatal genetic element.
* There is a risk of creation of drug resistance germs and out-break diseases against which there is no known prevention.
* Any accidental escape of laboratory strains may create havoc on earth. It may contaminate a large population.
* Introduction of gene like that of viral cancer into bacteria through plasmids may involve the risk of introducing these harmful genes into man when these bacteria infect human.
* Hybrid genomes may create some serious ecological problems, the nature of which is still unknown. Naturally all these harmful hybrids possibly raise many moral, ethical and legal questions.
Releasing the risk involved in genetic engineering by a group of scientists working on recombinant DNA technology, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) established an advisory committee in 1976. Its main objectives are to evaluate the potential of biological and ecological hazards of recombination DNA molecules and develop the procedures which will minimize hazards and devise guidelines for the investigators in the research line.